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How to Scale Your Venue with Data-Driven Technology

| May 30, 2024 | By

Whether you’re managing operations for a multi-facility organization or a single venue, accurate data and analytics are essential to providing clean, secure, and efficient facilities—along with an unforgettable fan experience.

Although the complexity of operations is directly proportional to the size and number of venues being managed, the complexity of your tech stack doesn’t have to be.

During a recent webinar, we invited Ben Goodwin, Director, Melbourne & Olympic Parks; and Josh Eltringham, General Manager of Venue & Event Services, Melbourne Cricket Club; to explain how their organizations use the same technology—both individually and collaboratively—to scale operational efficiency, increase operational visibility, and deliver exceptional guest experiences despite their different levels of operational complexity.


Australia’s Hub for World-Class Sports and Entertainment 

The Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP) is managed by a Victorian State government-owned trust that oversees the precinct’s six key venues, four arenas, stadium, and conference center. With 10 professional sports clubs and the Australian Open tennis tournament calling M&OP home, the precinct hosts about 400 events a year and welcomes 3.7 million guests through the collective venue gates.

The nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), managed by the Melbourne Cricket Club, is the biggest stadium in the Southern hemisphere and one of the most attended. With a capacity of just over 100,000, the MCG hosts about 70 major events a year, entertaining about 4 million guests in 2023, alone.

The M&OP precinct and MCG stadium are located on adjacent tracts and, due to their close proximity and overlapping customer base, the two organizations have formed a strong collaborative partnership that is supported by their complementary tech stacks—including the 24/7 Software platform.


Different Venue Experiences, Same Challenges

Despite the difference in the size of the properties, the operations teams at both M&OP and MCP face similar challenges but at varying scales.

The primary challenge for each is having the right intelligence to ensure resources are deployed efficiently and distributed effectively across their venues.

According to MCG’s Josh Eltringham, “The most important thing we do every week is trying to predict what attendance is going to be. A lot of information flows from that number, be it resourcing, catering, stock. It's really, really important that we get that number right.”

Similarly, M&OP’s Ben Goodwin cites their biggest challenge as the need to scale resources across the business and make sure every team has the tools to respond where they’re needed, when they’re needed.

“We're running events most days of the week in one of our venues,” Goodwin said. “Our biggest challenge is how do we operate different venues at the same time with centralized teams that provide support services across all of them, as well as independent teams that are running the specific events in each of the venues?”The key to achieving this, according to Goodwin, is operating as a singular precinct with a centralized control mechanism.


Leveraging Technology and Data to Scale Operations

M&OP is evolving its operational technology to meet the changing needs of its employees and its guests. With a goal of helping people find information and make decisions as quickly and as easily as possible, the M&OP operations team is working to centralize control room operations so they can communicate, respond to incidents, deploy workflows, and have full visibility into what is going on across each venue in real time.

For example: During a regular event at an M&OP venue, the technology supports several different teams, including the infrastructure team, operations team, event management team, ticketing team, and catering team.

However, during the Australian Open, Tennis Australia brings in an additional 15-20 teams that need to be supported in M&OP’s singular environment.

“Being able to scale up from an event where we'll have a management team of 40 people running an event up to 600 to 700 people operating out of one solution is really critical for us,” Goodwin said. “We have to make sure that people can get to what they need to do, understand where things are happening, and respond quickly.”

The operations team at MCG faces similar challenges navigating the stadium’s fast-paced environment during football season. With back-to-back games, upward of 300,000 fans may pass through the gates in a given week, which requires real-time data analytics that can be used to make workflow adjustments, respond to incidents, and improve the guest experience.

For example: MCG uses its data warehouse, business intelligence, and real-time dashboards to generate attendance modeling and make up-to-the-minute decisions about concessions, merchandise, and other guest-experience drivers.


Data Is the Key to Delivering World-Class Service

Regardless of the size or complexity of your venue, data is an essential factor in delivering exceptional guest experiences, increasing efficiency, and maximizing profits.

Watch the full webinar to learn from the management teams at two world-class entertainment venues why implementing a centralized control center that provides live dashboards, single pane of glass analytics, real-time communication, and automated incident management capabilities is essential for optimizing your data at scale.


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